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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 62,164

Journal Archives

The Last Temptation of Trump

“Then Donald of Trump was led by his caddie upon a gold course to playeth with himself. For 40 years, he had been a buffoon, wandering through desert of failed business ventures and moral bankruptcy. And thus he was tempted: 'I am Donald of Trump, begotten of a line of racist thieves. Merrily, merrily, I say unto myself, I must cheat and steal from others.'

“It was then that Donald of Trump was approached by Michael the Cohen, who said unto him, 'You could be transformed, and enjoyeth the temporary favor of Russian wealth. Yet I sayeth unto you, that ye must first be willing to launder some cash.' Thus, Donald of Trump sayeth, 'Deal me in.'

“Upon the green appeared numerous females urinating to be with Donald of Trump, who did not wait to be sorely tempted. 'I am Donald of Trump' he saideth, 'and I shall make a hole in one upon this verily golf course.' Donald the Trump toldeth his pick she seemed familiar, to which Ivanka the Stepford baptized him with moist open limbs.

“Donald the Trump was then summoned unto the top of Trump Tower, for a meeting with three wise guys, who had journeyed from Russia bearing gifts for him. They performed great miracles that made it appear Donald the Trump was actually a successful businessman. And thus they beckoned him unto Moscow, to worship at the feet of Putin.

“Whilest Donald the Trump was in Moscow, he met with some of Putin's followers, who instructed him to grasp unto worldly powers. 'It is your destiny,' they counseled unto him, 'as Donald the Trump, begotten from your father's very scrotum, to rule your nation, and led the twelve tribes of white nationalism therein to the broken promises land.' And Trump saideth, 'Merrily, merrily, I say unto you, okay. But can you help?'

“Thereafter, Donald the Trump was made ruler of his nation. Yet Comey of Deep State therein plotted to destroy him. Yet, Donald the Trump had learned from the lap of Putin to wage battle against those enemies who favored the truth. Thus, he attacked the press, the intelligence community, and the judicial system. Then, Donald the Trump ordered that he be served Comey's head upon a golden platter.

“The death of Comey did not relieve the pressure upon Trump, for Comey of Deep State was replaced by Mueller the Just. 'Someone must payeth the price for this,' said Trump. His flock was sorely amazed when he commanded his closest followers to hurl themselves off of cliffs, and many were willing to thrust their earthly bodies under the bus. Yet the political death and incarceration did naught to relieve the pressures upon him.

“Therefore and thereafter, Donald the Trump sought counsel with Putin in the land of Helsinki. Putin instructed Trump to display his power to the world, by doing what no other leader of his nation had ever considered. So on stage, Trump bowed on bended knee and kissed Putin's ring. Although he expected the earth's people to applaud, Trump was verily sore to learn they were turning against him.

“Once home in his mansion, Donald the Trump was subjected unto more pressure. His once trusted aide Michael of Cohen betrayed him. Cohen spoke about Trump's coordinating with Putin. Despite his court jester Rudy G's efforts to spin, it soon became known that Hope the Hick had already informed Mueller of a Trump Tower meeting that Trump knew thereof.

“And that's the beginning of the end, folks!”

Reestablishing Democracy

It is said that when the ancient philosopher Confucius was asked what he would do if he had ultimate political power, he answered to insist that words be used properly. We can all recognize the wisdom of this when we listen to fools like Donald Trump speak, as was perhaps best illustrated when he attempted to lie about “would” versus “wouldn't.” Such pathetic nonsense tends to unite people who reject his babble.

Because languages can change over time, there is a potential for even Good People to speak or write words in a correct way, and have them misinterpreted as insults by other Good People. There is likewise the potential for Good People to use words correctly, with the intent of insulting others. And, of course, Good People can misuse words, with the best of intentions. What each of these three scenarios have in common is that they can all create divisions between various members of the Democratic Party.

While I could be wrong, as I often am, I think that there is evidence of this in various discussions on this forum. Hence, rather than address my concerns on other members' threads, I'd like to briefly talk about some examples here. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, and recognize that my responsibility is to try to communicate as clearly as possible, without insulting others, even if I disagree with them.

Let's start with the word “establishment.” It is a neutral word that is used to describe things ranging from a business, a political organization, or even a church. Most establishments include a hierarchy within its membership. This, again, is neutral, although hierarchies contain both a positive and negative potential when put into practice. This is entirely due to the fact that these are comprised of human beings.

The Democratic Party is an establishment. It features numerous levels of hierarchy, from the local committee, to the state and national committees. As a general rule, this is a good thing, for without any structure, the party could not function. This doesn't mean the people in the higher levels of local, state, or national committees are perfect. Some make honest mistakes. A few have even been corrupt over the decades. Human beings are, after all, human

Yet the biggest area for the potential for damaging infighting comes not from when groups (or individuals) within the establishment attempt to introduce new ways – or what they believe are new – which are met with resistance from others. This is a normal feature for any group that is addressing social-political issues. Indeed, such tensions can result in growth if people are open-minded and creative.

The people that make up the Democratic Party have a wide span of beliefs and positions. And there are an almost endless number of inter-related issues, resulting in an individual being capable of being moderate on some issues, and liberal on others. That's a good thing, in my opinion. It allows a community to find common ground.

There are four basic sub-groups of people in our party. They include conservatives, moderates, liberals, and progressives. No sub-group has a monopoly on truth, nor on being either wrong or less-right. It may be best to view them as the four fingers on a hand, each with their unique value, that combine to benefit the hand.

Those who run the various levels of party committees, or establishments, tend to be liberal-to-moderate. Many have served in their organization for years, even decades. Those at the local level do so as unpaid volunteers. Even if we do not “like” some as individuals, we should maintain a sense of respect for the work that they have done, and continue to do. As a resident of rural, upstate New York where republicans are in the majority, I know how isolated many of these good people frequently feel.

There tend to be cycles in our party, where either the progressives on the left, or conservatives on the right of the liberal-moderates, take a more active interest in exercising influence on what tactics and candidates the Democrats should employ and run. This has the potential to create negative tensions. Those who have served in leadership roles tend to be wary of new ideas that go against the established practices.

Those negative tensions are often increased by a number of factors. An important one involves economics, including people's financial status. Other factors include education levels and experience. In times past, issues that played important roles included age, sex, race, and religion. Just as progress has been made with those last four factors, if we maintain open minds, our party can make the same type of progress in the other areas. For in the final analysis, we are no longer in a place and time where we can fail to understand that we are all in this together.

Obviously, at least to anyone reading through DU:GD, a strain of this negative tension is being experienced in relation to some of this year's Democratic primary contests. The below NY Times article describes some of this dynamic:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/there-is-a-revolution-on-the-left-democrats-are-bracing/ar-BBKUJ94?ocid=ientp

That there is some degree of tension is to be expected. The article frames it as being a negative that threatens to divide the party. And if hostilities increase between the various sub-groups (fingers), it will be negative. Yet, this does not have to be the case.

No single group of Democrats should believe that they, and they alone, have the right to select each and every candidate. Or what each candidate should run their campaign. Or what other Democrats they break bread with. Those who believe they have that power and right tend to attack the other candidate(s), as well as their supporters, rather than focusing on the strengths of their favored candidate. Nothing good can come to the Democrat Party from such ignorant behavior.

It's curious: when I was young, many of my generation considered it a badge of honor to be considered “anti-establishment.” As the years have passed, some of us can be found among the progressives, the liberals, the moderates, and the conservatives. The same distribution is found among younger generations. And there is not only room for everyone within the Democratic Party, but there is a great need for the variety of their positions.

Peace,
H2O Man

Orange Squirrel, Red Sparrow.

“This world and yonder world are incessantly giving birth: every cause is a mother, its effect the child. When the effect is born, it too becomes a cause and gives birth to wonderous effects. These causes are generation on generation, but it needs a very well lighted eye to see the links in their chain.”
Halal-ad-din Rumi; Persian Sufi poet.


I think the mainstream media is doing a good job in reporting on the Russian-Trump conspiracy scandal. But I believe that they are overlooking a few clearly visible links in the chain in many reports. Perhaps this is due to management's restrictions. Or it could be due to concerns about just where the causes and effects lead.

A significant number of people on MSNBC and CNN, for example, have said that Trump is incapable of separating the Russian crimes from possible collusion, and his ego keeps him from admitting the Russians impacted the election, as it might reflect badly on him. Baloney. He doesn't separate the two, for the simple reason that he knows very well they are as connected as Siamese twins.

Trump is a wanna-be mob boss, who has had connections with various organized crime families over the decades. He welcomed the Russian money in years past. He was as eager to conspire with them to steal the 2016 election as was his son. They were gleeful. Thus, numerous people connected to his campaign, transition team, and administration had meetings with Russians that they have lied about ever since.

While I'm at it, as one fellow recently said on television, does anyone really believe that when some attractive Russian prostitutes showed up at his hotel door, that his up-right character resulted in his saying, “No thank you. I can't do this, because I'm married?” Really?

The only rational explanation for the sum-total of his reactions to this investigation, from day one to today, is his consciousness of guilt. And that sum-total includes over one hundred individual behaviors that each point exactly – and only – to his conscious efforts to cover up and hide his guilt.

There's another important link that needs close examination. To see it properly, we need to understand that political science is part of a larger field of study, sociology. Consider the young lady recently charged with being a Russian spy, who attempted to infiltrate and influence groups including republican politicians, CPAC, and the NRA. Her efforts weren't limited to electing specific candidates, and helping a pro-Russian sect to take control of the republican party. It included planting the seeds of social disruption, by promoting a paranoid gun culture. The implications are clear.

I've said that, to ask this: is it really a good time to argue about differences between the various sub-groups within the Democratic Party? To invest in bitterness from past disagreements? To engage in behaviors that give birth to further divisions? Or might this be a time when we do not have the luxury of in-fighting, a time where we need to set our differences behind us so that we can concentrate upon that which is most urgent?

Peace,
H2O Man

A Wonderful World

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book,
Don't know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography,
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra,
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I do know that one and one is two,
And if this one could be with you,
What a wonderful world this would be.
-- Sam Cooke


I think that Sam Cooke song sums up the Trump-Putin meeting fairly well. I note that the White House hasn't officially denied that Trump attempted to croon the tune. More, there are no media reports that state for certain otherwise.

As bad as yesterday was, the response has been encouraging. It's true that not as many republicans from DC publicly reacted with horror at Trump's treasonous outbursts. Nor did his entire White House staff and administration resign in protest. Were we in a healthy society, these things would surely have taken place. But one-third of our society is ill, and that includes those republicans who do not speak out.

On the positive side, the media has spoken out so harshly that Trump was forced to “walk back” his highly unpopular claims. The fact he offered a feeble excuse is good, too, since no thinking person can conclude he was sincere. For he has run his loud mouth and tweeted far too much about a witch hunt and corrupt intelligence community for him to be believed.

European allies also responded in shock and horror as Trump exposed – just as surely as Mr. Mueller's future indictments and report will – that Trump is a traitor and a national and international security threat. And there is no lie that Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Kellyanne Conway can tell that can possibly spin this in another direction. No, everything points towards Donald Trump's loyalty to Putin.

While there can be little doubt that Trump will do more damage on both the domestic and international levels, the American people can play an important role in reducing his ability to do so. We can be certain that his most mindless followers are contacting their elected representatives. And so we have to make the effort to do so, as well. This doesn't include contacting only those who represent – or are supposed to represent – you. Contact the Democrats, of course. But also contact the offices of republicans. All of their salaries come from your tax dollars.

This is as important to do right now, as taking part in our Democratic candidates' campaigns and voting in November. That's the reason it is outlined in Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights. And doing so will help to insure that Trump is impeached, convicted, and hopefully indicted and convicted, in 2019.

Fight the Good Fight, and what a Wonderful World it will be!
H2O Man

DU survey

Do you think that the topic of impeachment should be addressed by Democratic candidates in the 2018 elections? Should this be up to the individual candidates, or should it be part of a party platform?

There are no right or wrong answers. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I think that today's events may result in more people believing it is an issue for open discussion. Others may believe that candidates should wait for Mr. Mueller to issue a report. Both are valid viewpoints.

This is a strange and dangerous time. Stay strong. We shall overcome.

Thank you for your consideration.

Indictments (Phase Two)

In my Saturday evening post, I focused upon some of the current and future results that are indicated by last week's indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers. Today, I'd like to look at those indictments' relationship to some past events. I suspect that a better understanding of the events of 2016 can help us better prepare for both the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Yesterday, Trump and some of his backers claimed this was “all Obama's fault.” It's safe to say that everything Trump and fiends say is a lie. But there is reason to look closer at what President Obama did in his confronting the situation. President Obama warned Putin to stop interfering with the elections. It's important to note how the Russians had infiltrated state and local voter rolls. It is reasonable to assume they had the capability to either remove Democrats from the rolls, or to “flip” votes.

At this point, one can only speculate how much damage the Russians may have already done. But what seems clearer is that the step taken by President Obama may have prevented further damage on election day. There are people who believe that President Obama should have done more to assist the Clinton campaign by publicly exposing the Russian operation. However, because it was an active counter-intelligence investigation, he did what he believed was the right thing. I think he did more than the public will ever know.

From the evidence available now, it is evident that the Russian-Trump operation is responsible for Trump's “victory” in 2016. Hence, while people can correctly note the roles that James Comey, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Clinton and Sanders supporters, and the media played, none of these was in and of themselves the reason Trump “won.” Rather, the Russian-Trump operation exploited these, and the synergism dictated the election's outcome.

When we fully recognize this reality, it becomes clear that every time someone blames President Obama for not doing enough, Jim Comey for his October notification to Congress, claims Bernie would have defeated Trump, or points to errors in the Clinton campaign's top staff, it only exasperbates the situation. The focus must be on the Russian-Trump conspiracy, in order to best prevent future damage to the Democratic Party. In the words of the Civil Rights movement, we must keep our eyes on the prize.

Next, two things regarding Trump's meeting with Putin. As I noted yesterday while discussing this with “kentuck” on this forum, it was curious to hear people in the mainstream media ask if Trump would confront Putin on the indictments. The last time I heard a puppet talk back to a puppeteer was in the 1960s, on the Ed Sullivan Show. It's not like Trump was unaware that Putin was helping his campaign.

Finally, regarding if anyone will ever know what Trump and Putin discuss in private, it is important to remember that some of the evidence – in this case, actual recordings of Russian military intelligence officers' conversations about the hacking and distribution of e-mails – came from the intelligence offices of the nation where Trump and Putin are meeting.

Keep your eyes on the prize!
H2O Man

Indictments Today

Yesterday's indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers was outstanding. It's fair to say that Trump and others from his campaign and transition teams are “captives” of the Russian indictments. There has been some outstanding analysis, both in the media and here on this forum. I'd like to add a few thoughts to the discussion.

The first thing is that people should not get their hopes up that Trump et al will be charged with treason. In its common usage, “treason” is the most accurate description of what they knowingly did. In that sense – and that sense alone – people are correct in calling it treason. But in the legal sense, as defined by constitutional law, there is zero chance that they will be charged with treason.

It is apparent, however, that Malcolm Nance was correct many months ago, when he said the group will most likely be charged under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (also known as the RICO statute). We've seen that Mr. Mueller has been charging groups of Russians twice now, which suggests that in the larger domestic case, he is likely to take the same route. And, as Mr. Nance has recently stated, this allows for the listing of Donald Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator. Since he has been absolutely correct on virtually everything since releasing his 2016 book on the hacking of America, I trust his insight and judgment.

Next, a good prosecutor builds a conspiracy case, as everyone knows, by chipping away, both from the fringes and from the weakest links. Then, he/she uses a systematic process to close in on the top targets. Thus, for example, they targeted General Flynn, a weak link. Then, they indicted a group of Russians for internet activities such as their program on Facebook. Next, they indicted the 12 Russian intelligence officers.

Was it a coincidence that these indictments became public yesterday? Malcolm Nance has noted that in intelligence operations, coincidence take planning and hard work. Mr. Mueller is prosecuting cases from counter-intelligence investigations. The indictments against the 12 Russians had been diled as sealed indictments some time ago, and were opened days before Trump meets with Putin. This is a national security issue, that shows how seriously Mr. Mueller considers the upcoming meeting.

Finally, the fact that Mr. Rosenstein had informed Trump that these indictments were coming, apparently the day before Trump left for the NATO business, is also important. It goes a long way in explaining why Trump's meltdown – when he accused Germany of being a captive of Russia – was so ugly. The old fellow is feeling the pressure of the Mueller investigation closing in on him. Likewise, it explains why the republicans questioning Peter Strzok were so unhinged: their attacks upon him target Mr. Mueller by way of Mr. Rosenstein.

These republicans are planning to try to impeach Mr. Rosenstein, to allow Trump cover to fire him. In their current plan, they do not want Mr. Rosenstein to actually face trial, since as he has said, this would allow him access to their e-mail accounts, etc. (Thus, in a congressional hearing, republicans asked if it were true he had threatened those advocating his impeachment.)

Things look bad for Trump and his co-conspirators. Very bad. So we can anticipate that they will attempt more foolish though destructive actions in upcoming weeks. Count on it. And count on Mr. Mueller to counter their desperate attempts to avoid the legal consequences of their criminal, treasonous behaviors.

Peace,
H2O Man

"The Pause of Mr. Claus"

Life is curious. Fifty years ago, Arlo Guthrie release his classic song, "The Pause of Mr. Claus," which featured a hilarious tribute to the FBI agents in the audience. I can remember sitting around with college friends, listening to this while we smoked the demon weed (careful not to inhale!) and drinking massive quantities of alcohol (but not swallowing any). There may have been sugar cubes dancing in our heads, too. Of course, it is important to place these behaviors on our part in context: this was the era of J. Edgar Hoover.

I kept thinking about that today, as I watched Peter Strzok testify before a congressional committee. Without any influence from the vitamins that my college friends and I took to help us study decades ago, I found myself laughing almost as hard today. As toxically obnoxious as the republicans were, I found the Democrats to be on point and impressive. Some of what they said, although totally serious, was funny. It exposes what pathetic assholes the republicans are.

More, I found Mr. Strzok to be honest, honorable, and highly intelligent. Without being disrespectful -- much less hostile -- he, too, exposed the republicans as petty, lying carp. Despite the "rules" being stacked against him on an unlevel playing field, he kicked their behinds. I was impressed.

Beware of Darkness

“Watch out now
Take care, beware of greedy leaders
They'll take you where you should not go
While weeping Atlas Cedars
They just want to grow, grow and grow
Beware of darkness (beware of darkness)”
– George Harrison; Beware of Darkness


Please allow an old Beatles' fan to speculate briefly upon the meaning of this song, and then offer a feeble attempt to connect it to some of the political debates found on this very day upon the internet. In my opinion, George was not giving a dire warning to Americans to be cautious of a candidate who is non-white. Others may disagree – some obviously do – but that's not my interpretation.

If one listens to the whole song, I think it's possible to believe that George was speaking symbolically, about the darkness found in people's hearts and minds. One might say that this darkness is engaged in warfare for the public's hearts and minds today. For example, the Trump administration has set up “relocation camps” for non-white asylum-seekers; these are not that different than the “reservations” for Native Americans, the camps for Japanese-Americans in WW2, or the misguided tactics in Vietnam. Now, it may be a sheer coincidence that all these human beings were non-white. But I don't think so. Maybe that's just me.

When Senator Obama ran for president in 2008, the majority of voters believed it to be a good thing. I was among them, and I never once thought, “Careful, Patrick! Listen to George closely!” However, a significant segment of citizens – almost exclusively white republicans – experienced great anxiety at the mere thought of a brown-skinned president. He was a socialist, an Islamic atheist (the worst kind!), and wasn't even born here. In my opinion, that was evidence of mental illness upon their part. As proof, I'd note these people frequently claim there was no racism in America until President Obama stirred it up.

Now, I don't think that Beatle George wrote that song for an intended republican audience. When he released it on his first post-Beatles effort, he was reaching a very different audience. I think it still has value for the general audience he spoke to. And that likely includes Democrats of every description. Thank you, George.

Today, there is fascinating news about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory in a NYS congressional district in which she was not even running. See below:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ocasio-cortez-wins-second-primary-as-a-write-in/ar-AAzWms9

Now, various Democrats are going to interpret the true meaning of this. As a contributor to, and volunteer for Alexandria's campaign for the seat in the 14th district, I think it shows that many good people support the type of change that she represents. I expect that some in the corporate media will blabber on about it representing a massive divide within the Democratic Party. And there will be some well-intentioned party members who find Alexandria cause for discomfort.

Instead of focusing on the positive energy that an FDR-working class non-white female brings – note, for example, the dramatic increase in voter registration in her region – they express anxiety about her being in favor of “socialism” when it pertains to issues such as public education and health care. By no coincidence, FDR was attacked for his socialist “New Deal,” just as LBJ was for his “Great Society.” I'm okay with people attacking these things, I suppose, as long as they promise not to drive on public streets or highways. It may be difficult, though, for them to find enough privately-owned turnpikes these days.

Still other good people are upset that a non-white female candidate is reportedly lending support to a like-minded candidate outside of her district. Again, that would seem reasonable if they express the exact same moral outrage when other Democrats engage in the exact same activity. However, I haven't seen this, nor do I realistically expect to.

A small handful of Democrats are also out today, attacking Alexandria for her tweet about Joe Crowley. I'm willing to accept Mr. Crowley's saying there was a lack of communication between him and Alexandria's campaign. In fact, I'd like to take responsibility. For each and every time I've attempted to contact the top volunteers in the campaign, I've experienced no problem in getting through, and engaging in long conversations. Thus, I likely tied up the lines,preventing others from getting through. My apologies.

Others cling to misinformation and disinformation about an effort to promote an unwilling Crowley on a third-party ticket in November. It is not Crowley. It's just not. Rather, it is those corporate contributors that invested millions in his various campaigns for re-election. (Note: Crowley spread some of this to other Democratic candidates, similar to the current activities of the Ocasio-Coretz campaign today.) If one considers entities such as the Blackstone Group – which financed Trump's 2016 campaign – it should become obvious exactly who is opposed to Alexandria, and why.

Beware of darkness. Avoid being a Blackstone tool.

Peace,
H2O Man

A Question......

I'm wondering: how is Manafort's legal team purposely assisting their incarcerated client to violate a federal court order any different than if they had brought him a cake with a hack-saw blade inside? I recognize that today's technology is more advanced, of course. But both examples seem equally unethical to me.
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